The National Cancer Act’s “war on cancer” went into effect forty years ago, and throughout that time, the battle has yet to be won for finding a cure. Though better treatments are becoming available, there is another problem growing for cancer patients, and that is that these treatments are not becoming any more affordable.
The newest drugs can easily cost $100,000 or more for a year’s worth of treatment. Patients are being prescribed these drugs earlier on in their illness, and they are required to use them for longer periods of time. Sometimes, this means that they must stay on them for the rest of their lives.
Among the most recent treatment trends is that these drugs are used in combination, with the guidance provided by genetic testing that can provide a treatment that is designed more specifically to the unique needs of the patient, but at a significantly greater financial expense, too.
The drugs are only the start of the problem, as other treatments are not without cost, either. Radiation treatments, for example, are also becoming more high-tech, and as the technology increases, so does the price tag connected with it. For example, proton therapy is twice as expensive as the traditional form of radiation.
As a result, the financial ramifications are starting to show for these patients. Though there are some programs to help cover the costs, the number of bankruptcies resulting from treatments is ever on the rise. Even those with standard health insurance are discovering that the caps, co-pays, deductibles, and other limitations are leaving them far less protected than they believed themselves to be.
Cancer insurance is, therefore, becoming one of the most sought after forms of supplementary coverage, as it fills in all of the gaps that standard health insurance will leave behind. It can cover deductibles, copayments, the expenses beyond the standard insurance caps, and may even pay for regular bills such as rent, mortgage payments, and utilities, when the patient needs to take time off work.